Nice Guys Can Finish First

Life Lessons from the 1954 Milan Indiana State Championship Team

Milan, Indiana — The Milan ’54 Hoosiers Museum and its board of directors have published a new children’s book: Nice Guys Can Finish First: Life Lessons from the 1954 Milan State Championship Basketball Team. The book, released in June, offers basketball tips for youth and revisits the history of the 1954 Milan Indians State Championship team. With illustrations featuring the team and coaches, the book also includes a glossary of basketball terms for beginning players and inspirational quotes.


The Milan ’54 Hoosiers Museum will utilize the book in multiple educational facets through promotion to schools and with programs at the museum. Milan remains the smallest school in Indiana high school history to win the state title. The Milan story provided the inspiration for the movie Hoosiers. Each of the living Milan players participated in the project, offering a motivational quote and basketball advice for readers.


“It was an honor, along with my teammates, to contribute to NICE GUYS CAN FINISH FIRST
Life Lessons from the 1954 Milan Indiana State Championship Team. One of our hopes is that our story will continue to inspire future generations of young basketball players and athletes from all endeavors. This book is the perfect avenue to perpetuate our legacy and we hope readers will enjoy it!” ~Bobby Plump #25

“As a career educator, it is very satisfying for me that our Milan ’54 story can be used as background for the “Nice Guys Can Finish First” book that Mom or Dad can use to help their son or daughter in their quest to learn to read using basketball as a fun subject. The four illustrations on how to shoot a basketball in a fundamentally sound way is extremely important for a beginning player.”  ~Roger Schroder, #22

“The Children’s Book, NICE GUYS CAN FINISH FIRST, provides young basketball players an excellent opportunity to learn the basics essentials for a winning effort.  Read and enjoy how the Milan Team Members perfected those basic skills through hours of disciplined practice and facing tough competition.”  ~Bob Wichmann, #23

“As we grew up, we learned many of life’s lessons from our parents, teachers and friends who were the special people we wanted to be like. As Children grow, we encourage them to listen carefully to those special people they would like to be like. It was an honor to be part of NICE GUYS CAN FINISH FIRST,  as well as an event and team that has been a positive memory of our community.”   ~ Rollin Cutter #32

Books may be purchased at the museum or online at or on Amazon.

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